Colored cells mimic photosynthesis to make the most of diffused light.
Solar panels aren’t only limited to the outside of our homes, as proven by Marjan van Aubel once before. Now the Dutch designer has turned her attention to furniture, more specifically a table embedded with a solar panel that is part work surface, and part phone charger.
The Current Table features a clear orange glass table top, equipped with two USB charging points, that rests on triangular trestle legs. Each port is fitted with four solar cells, which means it should take about two hours for the table to fully charge a battery. “While you read a book or write emails, you can use your table to charge your iPad or mobile phone,” said Aubel.
Unlike traditional solar cells, the colored cells used in the Current Table do not require direct sunlight for power. It’s based on photosynthesis and uses color properties to create an electrical current, which also means it only needs to diffused light to carry out its function.
Charging time can still vary based on the amount of sunlight that’s present, but the designer is confident that the Current Table could reduce the need for underfloor cables in places such as libraries, restaurants, and coffee shops. While it’s likely the idea will be more effective in some countries than others, it’s a reminder that you don’t have to live on the equator to make the most of solar power.
Marjan van Aubel